Originally formed as the Sligo Early Music Festival, the Sligo Festival of Baroque Music was created by Rod Alston and the Sligo Early Music Ensemble. The festival takes place in the Model Arts Centre in Sligo during late September / early October annually.
The festival aims to present high quality performance of baroque chamber music in a friendly and informal way. There event programme offers a mix of performers, including some with an international profiles, others at earlier stages in their careers. One of the aims of the festival is to foster the development of young performers, from the local youngsters who work under an experienced and renowned performer in the Baroque Youth Orchestra, to recently formed ensembles of young professionals or third level students.
Among those who have appeared at the festival are, sopranos, Emma Kirkby, Julia Gooding and Lenneke Ruiten; tenor John Elwes; baroque violinists Elizabeth Walfisch, Maya Homburger, Claire Duff and Walter Reiter; flautists Wilbert Hazelzet, Eleanor Dawson, Julia Knight; sopranos Julia Gooding; recorder players Laoise O’Brien, Aedin Halpin and Kate Hearne; viola da Gamba players, Sarah Cunningham, Reiko Ichesi, Sarah Groser; harpsichordists Malcolm Proud, and Laurence Cummins, David Adams.